Espresso is a concentrated coffee. It is brewed by forcing hot water under high pressure through finely ground coffee.
It differs from other brewing methods as the consistency is thicker, it is highly concentrated with an intense flavour and it is topped off with a golden crema. This classic Italian brewing method – the godfather of today’s café culture society – has changed the way we enjoy and drink our coffee. Espresso can be found at almost every coffee shop and restaurant but, more often than not, the espresso is less than satisfactory.
The key to ensuring the quality of espresso lies in the machine’s ability to produce the right amount of pressure. The quality of coffee beans is also a crucial factor. Ensure that the blend you use is multilayered. Finally, it becomes the responsibility of a skilled barista to produce great espresso with outstanding crema and with sweet intense flavour notes.
A great espresso-based drink should always have a sweet base; it should be full of flavour and it should never ever be bitter. Bitter espresso is usually over extracted, burnt or made using a stale or cheap blend of coffee. A good espresso will resemble honey dripping off a spoon when being pulled. If it gushes out of the machine it will be flavourless.
Remember, the best espresso will be intense and flavourful...and if you are ever in doubt,ask your barista.